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September 27, 2016

HSI/Canada criticizes city of Montreal decision to adopt ineffective and discriminatory dog by-law

Pit bull-type dogs and owners are targeted despite evidence that breed-specific legislation does not increase public safety

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Phillip Marshall for The HSUS

Despite all evidence, data and expert opinion to the contrary, the city of Montreal is moving ahead with breed-specific legislation that severely restricts activity and movement of current pit bull-type dog owners and aims to completely ban certain breeds.

Ewa Demianowicz, campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada, stated:

“We are extremely disappointed with the council’s decision to adopt archaic by-laws that are proven to be ineffective. Mayor Denis Coderre and his team have rejected scientific facts in favour of fear and misinformation. Laws that target a specific breed of dog do not work, and will only succeed in destroying families and killing innocent dogs without any improvement in public safety.

“The by-laws adopted today are a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, and every Montrealer should be appalled by the Council’s irresponsible and illogical approach to this issue. If Mayor Coderre wants to put public safety first, he should focus on real solutions that will protect people and promote responsible pet ownership.

“Other municipalities, such as Calgary, have adopted effective measures, like enforcement of laws that apply to all dog breeds and access to low cost pet services, including spay/neuter and education, that have reduced dog bites and attacks without targeting specific breeds. For reasons that defy logic, Montreal has rejected this model and instead opted for an ineffective breed ban.”

Ask Quebec not to enact breed-specific legislation targeting dogs.


  • There is no evidence that breed-specific laws reduce dog bites or attacks on people, and experts have found that no breed is more likely to bite than another. In fact, no jurisdiction has been able to prove that this kind of legislation has improved public safety.
  • No breed ban has ever effectively eliminated restricted dogs from the community. On the island of Montreal, some boroughs will not be adopting BSL, meaning that a pit bull-type dog can be legally present in certain parts of the metropolitan community.
  • The Montreal SPCA has announced that if this by-law would have been effective this year, the organization would have had to relocate or euthanize between 300 and 700 healthy and behaviorally-sound dogs.
  • The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec have clear position statements that do not support breed specific legislation.

Media Contact: Christopher Paré, 514 395-291, cpare@hsi.org

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